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Diabetes Care. 2011 Jul;34(7):1648-50. doi: 10.2337/dc11-0118. Epub 2011 May 26.

Retinol-binding protein 4 is associated with prediabetes in adults from the general population: the Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) F4 Study.

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  • 1Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Institute of Epidemiology II, Neuherberg, Germany.



We examined the association between retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4), a novel adipokine, and prediabetes (isolated impaired fasting glucose [i-IFG], isolated impaired glucose tolerance [i-IGT], and combined IFG and IGT) in men and women aged 32-81 years.


The analysis was based on 2,614 participants without previously diagnosed diabetes and those with newly diagnosed diabetes of the Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) F4 Study, conducted from 2006 to 2008 in southern Germany. Plasma RBP4 was analyzed by immunonephelometry.


In logistic regression analysis, RBP4 levels in the fourth quartile versus the first quartile were significantly associated with prediabetes (i-IGT, i-IFG, and IFG/IGT; reference normal glucose tolerance) independent of known metabolic risk factors and lifestyle variables (odds ratio 1.63 [95% CI 1.17-2.27] after multivariable adjustment). Stratification by sex showed generally similar results.


RBP4 levels were associated with prediabetes in individuals from the general population. Prospective studies investigating the impact of RBP4 on the development of glucose intolerance are needed.

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